Taipei, March 21 (CNA) China’s aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, entered waters that are part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said, but he insisted his ministry is keeping a close watch on Beijing’s regional drills.
Pressed on the issue by lawmakers at the Legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Yen confirmed on Wednesday the Liaoning did in fact enter the Taiwan Strait, which is part of Taiwan’s ADIZ, on Tuesday after participating in drills in the East China Sea on Sunday and Monday.
He said, however, he was not at liberty to disclose any more details or comment on the issue, but noted that the military is monitoring all of China’s regional drills from start to finish and will respond as needed.
In a statement issued later in the day, the Ministry of National Defense said the Liaoning exited Taiwan’s ADIZ at around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday and continued its journey on a southwestern course.
The military said it detected nothing unusual in the drills conducted with the aircraft carrier.
The last time the Liaoning was sighted near Taiwan was on Jan. 16 when it entered Taiwan’s ADIZ, sailing just west of the Taiwan Strait’s median line.
(By Matt Yu and Kuan-lin Liu)